Transitional Holiday

I have to confess that Valentine's Day has NEVER been one of my favorite holidays.  I was not exactly the most popular child, and I always dreaded going to school on the day we got to open our boxes and see what our classmates had left for us.  (This was back before they required kids to be nice.  The principal still had a paddle over his desk, and we still had to be quiet and sit still while somebody prayed over our lunches.)  Inevitably, I would have one or two of the little stock card valentines that were obviously in some kids sweet mom's handwriting, and a couple of cool ones that had ended up in the wrong bag.  To be fair, I was a strange child, and all of the ones I gave away were in my mother's handwriting, so I can't really complain that much.  My mom always tried to make it fun for me.  She would spend untold amounts at the craft store, and we would glue lace to posterboard and hand-write messages to my four siblings and my father.  Glitter filled the house for days, and there were always cookies to decorate.  Halloween decorating and Christmas wrapping were always more fun, though.

As I grew up and became interested in boys (and eventually girls, and then men) it STILL wasn't something I particularly looked forward to.  Even the relationships of my adolescence weren't the high-intensity romances that most teenage girls relish so much.  My boyfriends were my buddies.  We watched movies together, made jokes, got drunk.  I was very much the jeans and t-shirt kind of girl.  So, after "dating" for a while, along came this holiday.  I would dress up, buy a present (usually a book or a gag gift) meet up with the boyfriend, go out to dinner, and then we would stare at each other awkwardly.  Normally, there would be no shortage of things to talk about, but when the "need" to be romantic was pressing, I would always choke. 

Even as an adult, it flummoxes me.  It's not that I don't enjoy pretty things or nice dinners, quite the contrary.  When I feel like I HAVE to be romantic, when I feel forced it always ends up seeming.....well, forced. 

The best Valentine's day of my life thusfar was probably '08.  It was shortly before I started dating my husband, and myself and a couple of very good, very old friends (As in I've known them forever, they're not geriatric or anything) ended up going to the liquor store to procure a magnum bottle of Shiraz and a bottle of Sake.  Between the three of us, we finished them both while engaging in much shenanigans and debauchery in a hot tub.  (I still don't understand why drinking in a hot tub gets you so much drunker, but it does.)  Nothing even remotely romantic happened, and it was perfect.  I felt like absolute hell the next morning.  THAT, to me, is what Valentine's Day should be like.  (No, you gross pervs, we did NOT have a *********...just in case you couldn't get past wondering.)

I think the only time Valentine's day is really all people expect it to be is when it applies itself to relationships in transition.  Two people who are really into each other, but haven't exactly voiced it yet, for example.  It's a perfect excuse to be bold, and start a relationship.  Or people who have been dating for a while, and decide that it's time to take the next step and get married, but have no idea how to breach the subject on their own.  Valentine's day is a good catalyst for the shy and/or insecure lovers.

That's not where I am.  I'm a newlywed, so I'm sure we will do SOMETHING to "celebrate" this holiday.  My guess is that I'll get all dressed up, go to a dimly-lit restaurant, and stare awkwardly at my husband and best friend because I have no idea what to say.  Maybe we'll discuss groceries, or our schedules for the week.  Then, in spite of the fact that we had a perfectly lovely evening, we'll both feel mildly disappointed that we didn't live up to the level of romance expected of us.  We'll probably both be disappointed in me, he's actually kind of good at this stuff.  Good to know I've grown up so much since I started dating, huh?

unobserver unobserver
31-35, F
2 Responses Feb 14, 2010

May I, wish you a "Happy Valentines Day" ?

I am positive you are better than you think. Just be yourself. :-)